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Happy Ending in Missing Toddler Search

BY MELANIE BUCK –

Polk County Deputies Seth Smith and Steve Fortner have been hailed as heroes after locating a lost four-year old girl in a wooded area last week. On Thursday, August 11, the Sheriff’s office dispatch received a call at 1:30 p.m. that the girl could not be located. She had last been seen playing in her yard with three dogs. The girl’s mother and other family members had searched and were unable to locate her when they called for assistance.

Upon arrival, Fortner searched the residence, and cleared it, while Smith walked a trail to a nearby family member’s house and cleared that area as well. The pair of deputies then began walking a four-wheeler trail that was behind the residence in a heavily wooded area. Smith said the found the girl approximately three-quarters of a mile from her home down the trail.

The four-year old was checked out by SouthWest EMS, who was on the scene, and found to be in good condition other than a few scratches. Other assisting agencies included the 18th West Judicial Task Force, Polk County Emergency Management, Polk County Search and Rescue, and Mena Fire Department.

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